31.12.05

Anniversary

According to the archive dates, as of January 2nd I will have been at this (particular version of one blog or another over the years) for one year. I started 'blogging' in '98 or '99 - I don't remember - I know I moved to blogger when it was very, very new and moved during the (blogger) era of constant errors and downtime for days. I'm surprised I've stayed with it as long as I have - for no particular reason...

Lao-Tzu

When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

-Lao-Tzu

30.12.05

Don't wave lights and incense

Don't wave lights and incense, or offer flowers and food. He is found effortlessly when worshipped through self-realization alone.

-Maharamayana

Nostalgia...

I've been feeling rather nostalgic of late... you know, (assuming you're over 30 enough to miss something) "where did the last thirty years go." "Where is that large automobile?, This is not my beautiful wife.." and so on... Thirty years ago, this December 31st/January 1st, sometime before and after midnight, I was standing on Hollywood blvd. with Arja, my ex, blatantly smoking dope with thousands of other people, in 'celebration' of Cali's decriminalization of pot laws that went into effect in '76. No point to the story, other than I was there, and was part of it. Now I'm old and don't do shit. Nostalgic, as I said...

Under these provisions as later amended S.B. 95 required the destruction of records of any court or public agency pertaining to an arrest or conviction for possessing marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, or for giving away or transporting not more than one ounce of ordinary marijuana where the arrest and/or conviction occurred after January 1, 1976, in which case such records could not be kept beyond two years from the date of conviction, or from the date of arrest if there was no conviction. No civil or collateral disabilities or penalties could attach to an individual as a result of a prior marijuana misdemeanor offense, once the records are destroyed or two years had passed.

Stop The Lie

Part 1 - No Tinfoil Hat Required

If one group accuses another of being delusional, they ought to prepare convincing evidence.

For many years now, the mainstream media has played a key role in maintaining the government's official account of 9/11. In all respects, it has done a brilliant job of filtering out everything that might undermine the government's claims, while simultaneously demonizing anyone who dares to challenge those claims.
"It is crazy to think corrupt elements within our government intentionally LET the attacks on 9/11 happen so they could be used as a pretext for war. Furthermore, it is even crazier to suggest corrupt elements might have actually facilitated the attacks."
So let's get right to it: Is it really baseless idiocy that drives people to question the official account of 9/11? Are the millions of Americans (including Senators, FBI agents, Doctors, Lawyers, Professors, Scientists, Engineers, etc.) all paranoid loons for suggesting we need a truly independent investigation of 9/11? The government and media would have you think so. They'd also (to help maintain that perception) need to keep you diverted from the information you're about to read.

29.12.05

circus museum

Neet foriegn (nl - Dutch?) site with loys of circus one-sheets and stuff...

Merry Christmas to me...

Approximately the shape and weight (7.3 ounces) of a hard disk MP3 player,the MiFi can tune in to all the XM stations, but it can do much more. The XM antenna is integrated into the wireless device, which runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (rated for five hours of battery life). The MiFi holds up to five hours of recorded content in its built-in Flash memory. It has a six-line scrolling display that can show a stock or sports ticker. Included in the package are home-use and vehicle kits and a remote control, as well as earbuds, a belt clip and a carrying case. The MiFi also has a built-in FM transmitter, so you can play it on your car's sound system.

Oh yeah, and the people I work for gave me one
of these. I not exactly what I do with it, but the gesture was nice...

The ultimate geek multi-tool
USB storage in a beautiful Swiss Army knife design
Available in 1 GB, 512MB, 256MB capacity
USB Flash Drive (easily detachable)
Includes: Red LED light, ballpoint pen, knife, scissors, file with screwdriver, keyring
Flash drive is USB powered, no external power supply required
LED blinks to indicate read/write activity
Works with Windows 98/SE/2000/ME/XP, MAC OS 9.x or above, Linux 2.4 or above
USB 1.1/2.0 interface


And yes, if you have to ask, Santa was ery good to me this year...

Popstars im Selbstporträt (Pop Stars in Self Portrait)

German Text

Link

Green Eggs and Ham

Claim: Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after being challenged by his editor to produce a book using fewer than fifty different words.

Status: True.

Origins:
Many of us grew up enjoying the wildly imaginative rhyming works written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to us as Dr. Seuss. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, If I Ran the Zoo, Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many other books involving "ludicrous situations pursued with relentless logic" were the core of many a child's personal library. In 1957, Seuss produced a classic children's tale, The Cat in the Hat, using only the words on an average first-grader's vocabulary list. This work was followed by a series of books employing an ever more limited vocabulary: Ten Apples up on Top!, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks, and the book that initiated this trend (and is perhaps the best known of all of Seuss' efforts), Green Eggs and Ham.

What prompted this minimalist trend by Dr. Seuss? A dare from his editor, Bennett Cerf, that he write a book using no more than fifty different words. Seuss took Cerf up on his challenge and produced a classic children's work many of us can still recite from memory.

28.12.05

Zappa

Having proven his stellar musicianship on a series of instrumental-based solo albums, Frank Zappa is now returning to the musical satire on which his formidable reputation was built. Apostrophe turns out to be so brilliantly successful, though, that it seems as though he's never left this field. Songs like "Stinkfoot" and "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" again attest to Zappa's abilities at contorting song forms to serve his distorted purposes: They're a welcome reminder that comic lunacy is still alive and well. "Don't Eat Yellow Snow" spotlights Zappa's public-spiritedness, and just in case anyone might still have doubts about his guitar virtuosity, Zappa dispels such thoughts quite convincingly on the title cut -- an outrageous jam with Jim Gordon's thundering drums and Jack Bruce's bumblebee bass. Truly a mother of an album.

- Gordon Fletcher, Rolling Stone, 6/6/74.



I'll take a drive to BEVERLY HILLS
Just before dawn
An' knock the little jockeys
Off the rich people's lawn
An' before they get up
I'll be gone, I'll be gone
Before they get up
I'll be knocking the jockeys off the lawn
Down in the dew

- Uncle Remus



I saw Zappa twice, during the Apostrophe and Overnight Sensation tours --- over thirty years ago --- jus' feelin' a lilttle nostalgic...

Fresh Starts

being tired of everything,
being what I am not,
not being what I am,
ying yang struggle,
a new start on an old beginning

Citizen Ben

The great struggles of the 20th century were against fascism and then communism. As was made clear on Sept. 11, the great struggle of the 21st century will be between the forces of fanatic fundamentalism and those of tolerance. It is important to remember that America was not born with the virtue of religious tolerance, but had to acquire it. One of the myths is that the first settlers were advocates of religious freedom. In fact, the Puritans were very intolerant, not only of witches but also of any deviation from the tribal orthodoxy. The most arcane antinomian dispute ended up forcing people to move and found a new state like Rhode Island.

Franklin's freethinking unnerved his family. When his parents wrote of their concern over his "erroneous opinions," Franklin replied with a letter that spelled out a religious philosophy based on tolerance that would last his life. It would be vain for any person to insist that "all the doctrines he holds are true and all he rejects are false." The same could be said of the opinions of different religions. He had little use for the doctrinal distinctions his mother worried about. "I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. And the Scripture assures me that at the last day we shall not be examined by what we thought, but what we did ... that we did good to our fellow creatures. See Matthew 26." (His parents, a bit more versed in the Scripture, probably caught that he meant Matthew 25.)

Tolerance

Music, music, music

Downloaded the 'unlimited' music service, Rhapsody last weekend. I'm probably the only person in the universe who didn't clue into that before, but unlimited downloads means all the files you can download TO YOUR COMPUTER for 10$ a month -- if you want to go somewhere else with them, say, your ipod, then it's .89 and up... plus the 10$ a month...kinda like iTunes, but not free. Kinda makes a person feel stupid. Not stupid enough though NOT to promptly get on the stick and cancel it PDQ...

(And just so they don't try to sue me for expressing my dissatifaction: It IS a nice player, and the files are more than decent enough, sound quality-wise, but like the song says" "how you gonna keep down on the farm, after they've seen Par-ee/itunes?")
Caveat Emptor

Clock

INDUSTRIOUS 2001 MONO*CRAFTS 3.0 YUGO NAKAMURA

Neat flash clock... link

Quote

"With or without religion,
you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things,
that takes religion."
– Steven Weinberg

Instructions for the Cook

Buddhist monasteries have, in principle, six stewards. All are disciples of Buddha and all carry out the work of Buddha. Among them is the officer known as the cook, who is in charge of preparing meals for the assembly of monks. The Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries says, "In order to offer nourishment to the monks of the community, there is a cook. From ancient times, the position has been assigned to senior monks who have the way-seeking mind -- eminent persons who have aroused the thought of awakening.

In general, the job of cook is an all-consuming pursuit of the way. If one lacks the way-seeking mind, it will be nothing but a vain struggle and hardship, without benefit in the end. The Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries says, "One should maintain a way-seeking mind, make adjustments in accord with the occasion, and see to it that the great assemby receives what is necessary and is at ease. In days of yore, monks such as Guishan and Dongshan performed this job, and various other great ancestral teachers did too at some point in their careers.3 Thus, it is surely not the same as the work of worldy cooks, imperial cooks, and the like.

By the monk Dôgen of the Kannon Dôri Kôshô Hôrin Zen Monastery.

The Complete Text

27.12.05

The War on Christmas Dispatches

Dispatches from an undercover Mr. Sun mole embedded in a key enemy division waging The War on Christmas. In order to protect his identity, he will be known only as "The Yule Mole." If you feel you must know his real name, just ask Scooter Libby or Robert Novak.

Created by Mr. Sun

Bells CDs

Bell Studies for the Clock of the Long Now
By Brian Eno

This record has grown out of the Long Now Foundation's project - the Clock of the Long Now. This is an idea to create a working clock which will mark time for ten thousand years - not really because we need more clocks in the world, but because we need more encouragement to start contemplating the possibility of a distant human future. The Clock of the Long Now is an icon to long-term thinking.

When we started thinking about The Clock, we naturally wondered what kind of sound it could make to announce the passage of time. I had nurtured an interest in bells for many years, and this seemed like a good alibi for taking it a bit deeper.

I began reading about bells, discovering the physics of their sounds, and became interested in thinking about what other sorts of bells might exist. My speculations quickly took me out of the bounds of current physical and material possibilities, but I considered some licence allowable since the project was conceived in a time scale of thousands of years, and I might therefore imagine bells with quite different physical properties from those we now know. And as I started trying to make bell sounds with my synthesizers, I got diverted by some of the more attractive failures.

-- Brian Eno

Philosophy

Yesterday was a good day to walk about the Gardens–few distractions. I spent the time thinking about the lessons I’ve learned from this year that I want to take into 2006. During my musings, I found I could reduce them all to a simple two-part philosophy.

The first part is: The world is full of assholes.

This is a very important philosophy to have. The world is full of assholes. Contrary to how we may feel at times, we’re not asshole magnets and they’re not gathered solely around us–assholes are everywhere. As such, we’re never going to be free from them. We therefore have only one recourse and that’s accept that assholes are an inevitable fact of life.

via:
burningbird

Really a good way to look at it, an asshole, that is...

The Chain

Freedom and constraint, love and alienation, compassion and shame. These are only some of the complex issues that define the ambiguous relationships between the people captured in Chien-Chi Chang's photographs and the outside world. Contemplating the nature of human bonds and societal ties, these sombre monochrome images portray inmates from a Taiwanese mental asylum chained together in pairs, ostensibly as part of their 'revolutionary' therapy.

link

An English parish church

I have no difficulty in returning to this place, and standing here once again. It is the same place, it is more than the same place, and years of personal history are here in the earth beneath my feet. In this village, my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Robert Fripp died in 1752. My Grandfather Austin lived in the cottage next to the church (to the left of this j-peg) shortly after he left the Royal Marines (c.1930). At Fernhill House, my Aunt Betty was in service & lived in the attic c. 1931-2. This was my home from 1980-1987. It was from Fernhill House that I walked to the Church to marry Toyah on May 16th. 1986. Where I stand is where we buried my Father in 1984, and my Mother in 1993.

The spirit of place has power. This is the Fripp family village; my fate line is rooted here, but destiny took me elsewhere.


Robert Fripp

23.12.05

The Santa On Sixth Street

My grandfather played Santa Claus for more than twenty years, purely, I liked to believe, out of the goodness of his heart. His annual ritual was completely a volunteer effort and a solo undertaking...

...Then the neighborhood got older, and those kids who might have had fond memories of the Santa on Sixth Street grew up and moved away, and my grandfather found himself being increasingly rejected by subsequent generations. Every year there were still a few visitors, but it became more discouraging each December, and for years local teenagers had been spreading the rumor that my grandfather was a pervert...

...My grandfather had a fierce and constantly evolving vision of his Santa Shack (he called it the "Castle"; it was always "Santa's Castle" to him) that was perched atop this hill. He also imagined scores of local children, walking hand-in-hand with their parents and winding their way up the long path --"Candy Cane Lane"-- to visit Santa Claus.

Loudspeakers mounted on the roof of the shack blasted Christmas carols out over the neighborhood. It was this hill (and this music) that eventually turned much of the neighborhood against my grandfather, and one year the city council actually deliberated shutting him down. A young and smirking local newspaper reporter took my grandfather's side --"Santa Claus vs. Joyless City Council"-- and the story was picked up by news services and television stations all over the state...

The Santa On Sixth Street

21.12.05

Poem 58

Poem 58
The smell of the air
and the wind on my face
makes me remember
other places
and other times
when I wasn't
in hell

Damien Echols

Word of the Day:

Word of the Day: carapace - A hard bony or chitinous outer covering, such as the fused dorsal plates of a turtle or the portion of the exoskeleton covering the head and thorax of a crustacean.

what a pity!

what a pity!

When mortals are alive, they worry about death.
When they're full, they worry about hunger.
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.

But sages don't consider the past.
And they don't worry about the future.
Nor do they cling to the present.
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.
Bodhidharma

All sentient beings are essentially Buddhas.
As with water and ice, there is no ice without water;
apart from sentient beings, there are no Buddhas.
Not knowing how close the truth is,
we seek it far away
--what a pity!

Hakuin Ekaku Zenji

Enlightenment

Enlightenment
Chop that wood
Carry water
What's the sound of one hand clapping
Enlightenment, don't know what it is

Every second, every minute
It keeps changing to something different
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
It says it's non attachment
Non attachment, non attachment

I'm in the here and now, and I'm meditating
And still I'm suffering but that's my problem
Enlightenment, don't know what it is

Wake up

Enlightenment says the world is nothing
Nothing but a dream, everything's an illusion
And nothing is real

Good or bad baby
You can change it anyway you want
You can rearrange it
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
Chop that wood
And carry water
What's the sound of one hand clapping
Enlightenment, don't know what it is

All around baby, you can see
You're making your own reality, everyday because
Enlightenment, don't know what it is

One more time

Enlightenment, don't know what it is
It's up to you
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
It's up to you, everyday
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
It's always up to you
Enlightenment, don't know what it is
It's up to you, the way you think

Van Morrison

Gossip is Philosophy

Kevin Kelly talks to the prototypical Renaissance 2.0 artist about why music has ceased to be the center of our cultural life, why art doesn't make any difference anymore, and why Brian Eno offers no resistance to seduction.

Let's say I was to give you a round-trip ticket to the past, when art really made a difference. Where would you go?

Africa is everything that something like classical music isn't. Classical - perhaps I should say "orchestral" - music is so digital, so cut up, rhythmically, pitchwise and in terms of the roles of the musicians. It's all in little boxes. The reason you get child prodigies in chess, arithmetic, and classical composition is that they are all worlds of discontinuous, parceled-up possibilities. And the fact that orchestras play the same thing over and over bothers me. Classical music is music without Africa. It represents old-fashioned hierarchical structures, ranking, all the levels of control. Orchestral music represents everything I don't want from the Renaissance: extremely slow feedback loops.

If you're a composer writing that kind of music, you don't get to hear what your work sounds like for several years. Thus, the orchestral composer is open to all the problems and conceits of the architect, liable to be trapped in a form that is inherently nonimprovisational, nonempirical. I shouldn't be so absurdly doctrinaire, but I have to say that I wouldn't give a rat's ass if I never heard another piece of such music. It provides almost nothing useful for me.


Interesting article/interview for the Eno fan...

20.12.05

Dao House... of discourses and dreams

Taoism, or the Way

A noted Chinese anthropologist has written that Chinese religion "mirrors the social landscape of its adherents. There are as many meanings as there are vantage points."2 The same could be said of the diverse tradition we call Taoism. Taoism was understood and practiced in many ways, each reflecting the historical, social, or personal situation of its adherents. While this diversity may confuse and perplex the outside observer, it accounts for the resilience of Taoism in China. Taoism was adaptable, evolving to fill spiritual gaps created by the vagaries of life.


Article written by Judith A. Berling for the Asia Society's Focus on Asian Studies, Vol. II, No. 1, Asian Religions, pp. 9-11, Fall 1982. Copyright AskAsia, 1996.

19.12.05

zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

an inquiry into values
robert m. pirsig

I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. The wind, even at sixty miles an hour, is warm and humid. When it’s this hot and muggy at eight-thirty, I’m wondering what it’s going to be like in the afternoon.
"And what is good, Phædrus,And what is not good... Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ..."
In the wind are pungent odors from the marshes by the road. We are in an area of the Central Plains filled with thousands of duck hunting sloughs, heading northwest from Minneapolis toward the Dakotas. This highway is an old concrete two-laner that hasn’t had much traffic since a four-laner went in parallel to it several years ago. When we pass a marsh the air suddenly becomes cooler. Then, when we are past, it suddenly warms up again.
I’m happy to be riding back into this country. It is a kind of nowhere, famous for nothing at all and has an appeal because of just that. Tensions disappear along old roads like this. We bump along the beat-up concrete between the cattails and stretches of meadow and then more cattails and marsh grass. Here and there is a stretch of open water and if you look closely you can see wild ducks at the edge of the cattails. And turtles.—There’s a red-winged blackbird.
I whack Chris’s knee and point to it.
"What!" he hollers.
"Blackbird!"
He says something I don’t hear."What?" I holler back.
He grabs the back of my helmet and hollers up, "I’ve seen lots of those, Dad!"
"Oh!" I holler back. Then I nod. At age eleven you don’t get very impressed with red-winged blackbirds.

link

18.12.05

Korean Meditation

mp3 files of Korean Bamboo Flute meditation music

via: parkinglot

Hostilities

Hostilities aren't stilled
through hostility,
regardless.
Hostilities are stilled
through non-hostility:
this, an unending truth.

-Dhammapada, 1

11.12.05

Sounds

(via Ol@IJ:)

"Mindfulness Bell recordings for your phone or computer. Format: mp3. I loaded the 30 and 60 minute meditation timer files into my phone and that works well. MindBell 60 Minutes Size: 13.8 MB 60 minute meditation timer: mp3 file with 60 minutes of silence, followed by the sound of the bell."

http://homepage.mac.com/o.liebert/video/FileSharing76.html

Zazen Poem

Doing zazen calmly in the dojo,
Putting aside all negative thoughts,
Obtaining nothing but a mind without desire,
-This joy is beyond paradise.

The world runs after fame, honor,
Beautiful clothes and comfort.
But these pleasures are not true peace.
You run and stay unsatisfied until death!

Wear the kesa and black robe and practice zazen.
Concentrate with a single mind, whether still or in motion.
See with your own eyes deep inner wisdom.
Observe and know intimately the true aspect of all action and all existence.
Be able to observe balance.
Understand and know with a mind that is perfectly still.

If you are like this,
Your spiritual dimension,
The highest in this world,
Will be beyond compare.

The Dharma Teachings of Kodo Sawaki
From: The Notebook of Kodo Sawaki

Mental illness link to art and sex

From Lord Byron to Dylan Thomas and beyond, the famous philanderers of the art world may have had a touch of mental illness to thank for their behaviour, psychologists report today. A survey comparing mental health and the number of sexual partners among the general population, artists and schizophrenics found that artists are more likely to share key behavioural traits with schizophrenics, and that they have on average twice as many sexual partners as the rest of the population.

The 12 Laws of Karma



The 12 Laws of Karma

THE GREAT LAW

As you sow, so shall you reap. This is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us. If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Friendship, Love... Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving, a Friend.

THE LAW OF CREATION

Life doesn't just HAPPEN, it requires our participation. We are one with the Universe both inside and out. Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state. BE and DO yourself... what you what to have in your Life.

THE LAW OF HUMILITY

What you refuse to accept, will continue for you. If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.

THE LAW OF GROWTH

Wherever you go, there you are. For us to GROW in Spirit it is we who must change and not the people, places and things around us. The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over. When we change who and what we are within our heart our life changes too.

THE LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY

Whenever there is something wrong, there is something wrong in me. We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us We must take responsibility what is in our life.

THE LAW OF CONNECTION

Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected. Each step leads to the next step and so forth and so on. Someone must do the initial work to get a job done. Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance They were both needed to accomplish the task. Past, Present, Future They are all connected...

THE LAW OF FOCUS

You can't think of two things at the same time. When our focus is on Spiritual Values it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.

THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY

If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth. Here is where we put what we SAY that we have learned
into PRACTICE.

THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW

Looking back to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW. Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams... Prevent us from having new ones.

THE LAW OF CHANGE

History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD

All Rewards require initial toil. Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil. True Joy follows doing what we're suppose to be doing and waiting for the Reward to come in it's on time.

THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION

You get back from something whatever you've put into it The Value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it. Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole Lack luster Contributions have no impact on the Whole or work to diminish it. Loving Contributions Life Up and Inspire the Whole